The 1st one-shot in the Post-"Salvation" universe.
The Final Chapter Written by: Shawn
Summary: The Skywalker's wild Cloud City vacation concludes with death-defying jumps, zero gravity Force-flying, a chance encounter with a future scoundrel, a truly scandalous night club liaison, and Padme touching the essence of the Dark Side for the very first time.
Rating: M for sensual, sexual situations
Ship: Anakin and Padme Skywalker
Timeline/Spoilers: "Salvation" must be read in its entirety to grasp what I'm aiming for in this universe. Everything in the prequel movie series is canon up until a point in "Revenge of the Sith," and then "Salvation" takes over.
Disclaimer: Lucasfilm and George owns it all.
Authors Notes 1: I've longed to explore Anakin and Padme's life post some sort of fairy tale ending. So if they are permitted to be married, the war is over with and Palpatine is dead, Anakin is granted mastery, the children are alive and safe, Obi-Wan knows everything, and Padme at least retains her post... then what? That's the question I want to answer in this series. Its a drama and as such don't expect things to be glossed over or played down. I intend to treat P/A similar to the obsessiveness the media treats such couples in real life, as well as handle things politically in a way I hope keeps you interested.
Authors Notes 3: This is the beginning of the post "Salvation" universe. You will be introduced to new characters and reintroduced to ones who disappeared for a while. You just never know who might pop up. evil laughter
Authors Notes 3: I'm writing adults here, so expect adult situations.
Authors Notes 4: This story takes place 4 months after "Salvation"
Over the years I have developed a picture of what a human being living humanely is like. She is a person who understand, values and develops her body, finding it beautiful and useful; a person who is real and is willing to take risks, to be creative, to manifest competence, to change when the situation calls for it, and to find ways to accommodate to what is new and different, keeping that part of the old that is still useful and discarding what is not. Virginia Satir
Whatever is at the center of our life will be the source of our security, guidance, wisdom, and power.
I have found life an enjoyable, enchanting, active, and sometime terrifying experience, and I've enjoyed it completely. A lament in one ear, maybe, but always a song in the other. Sean O'Case
The Pair O'Dice Hotel
23th Floor Room# 23490
Cloud City, Bespin
These were the best of times...
Sighing happily on the king-sized bed, Anakin stretched his long legs beneath the luxuriously soft lavender Pilar covers. With his arms resting comfortably behind his head, his body, mind, and soul were at peace in a way he'd sought all his tortured life. But here on Cloud City with Padme, he was having more fun than he ever had before. There was no gossip-hungry press hounding them for a salacious sound bite. No emergency communications from the Jedi Order or the Galactic Senate needing their immediate and undivided attention. And while he adored his little angels there were no crying babies here requiring every ounce of their attention.
They were greedy for taking this time away from all responsibilities, but they had earned it as well. Sacrifice, blood, sweat, and tears were payment in full for this vacation. And with the lovely scent of his wife's perfume body spray delightfully filling his senses from their bed sheets, Anakin knew he wasn't going to regret anything they had done.
Last night in the starship Padme was magnificent. Echoes of her sweet cries while he was so deep inside her replayed in his mind... the phantom sensation of her nails dragging over his back... the feel of her toned thighs gliding over his... the indescribable visual of Padme's lovely face etched in lustful determination as she rode him through one writhing orgasm after another.
By the Force, he never wanted to leave this place.
Overcast dark shadows cascaded about the room courtesy of a heavy rain storm, adding a natural intimacy to the Skywalker's cozy hideaway. The morning hour was late, drawing close to a better description of early afternoon. After checking in with their family on Coruscant, Anakin wanted Padme to enjoy a soft, lazy start to their last full day on Bespin. With the work of the Republic, her responsibilities as Vice Chair, the Senate Trials, his place on the Jedi Council, and their children the ever present need to live in the moment while they could was all that mattered to him.
The storms heavy downpour pelted the broad curving window overlooking Cloud City, with the Pair O'Dice Starship Casino's massive blue-green Omega engine trails circling by in the background. Thick cloud cover blocked out the sun, with occasional streaks of lightening criss-crossing the dark skies.
For Anakin, the weather was perfect.
His former home world of Tattoine was a dead rock in space as far as he was concerned. It was always too hot, too dusty, too dry, and just too barren to even feel alive. Not like his beloved Naboo. And now Cloud City, with its unpredictable nature, seedy underbelly, dark overtones, and anything goes attitude won a place in his heart. And though she'd never dismiss the lawlessness of Bespin, he was sure Padme would never forget this place. The thought of which made him smile brightly, rolling over on his belly as she walked into the room wearing a lacy red nightgown. "How are the children?"
"Fine, fed, burped, changed, bathed, and back asleep... for now." When she attempted to crawl back into bed Anakin halted her. "Excuse me?"
"Uh uh. Lose the gown."
With a regal tilt of her head, Padme's hands came to rest on her hips. Her husband might be gorgeous, but he didn't give her orders. "And if I don't?"
"I shall leave you forever and never return."
Her lips curled into a slow, daring smile. "Such an empty threat."
"Oh, so you don't think I can live without you?"
"Even if you weren't so eager to remind me of that very fact daily, I'd say I have more than enough evidence to prove in fact that you can't live without me."
Grinning on his belly, Anakin considered her estimation. "You're probably right, but I still had to make the threat." From beneath the covers his hand lifted slightly, causing Padme's left shoulder strap to slip down.
"Undressing me with the Force," Padme held up her fist and began counting down by lifting one finger. "Changing diapers using the Force," another finger, "Making Luke and Leia fall asleep using the Force," her middle finger rose, "Making my chair lift off the ground while I am on important holo-transmissions," her fourth finger rose, "And sending me naughty thoughts while I am giving speeches on live HoloNet broadcasts..."
"Are strictly forbidden. Yes, this I know," he laughed softly. "And you never let me Force-choke anyone."
"It would start with Force choking, then progress to wearing black clothing all the time. After that would come that Sith lightening you told me about, and then all of a sudden we'd be dealing with evil Anakin. And we don't want that, now do we?"
"I should be allowed to Force-choke someone at least once a week." His playful pout earned him another bright smile.
Shaking her head at his obvious teasing, Padme took a deep breath and then summoned the Force with a gentle wave of her hand, sliding the covers from over her husband, revealing his toned, naked body to her hungry eyes. When he caught her staring she nibbled her bottom lip. "I'll think about it."
He loved the way her gaze appreciated his naked form. "Angel, take off your gown."
Padme loved the way words formed on his gorgeous mouth. And when he talked to her using that husky timber she was utterly unable to resist. Her nightgown pooled at her feet a moment later, leaving her nude before him. She moved under the covers and was apprehended instantly, drug into his strong arms, her mouth passionately covered with his. One hand cupped the back of her head, while the other kneaded the curved cheeks of her backside. They rolled under the covers until she was beneath him, writhing against the erection that glided over her sex. They began rocking until her moisture slicked the length of him, while her tongue was suckled inside his mouth.
Suddenly struck wild with desire, Anakin released her, and then descended down her body between her splayed thighs. The predator sampled his prey as his tongue lashed her erect clit once, causing her back to arch sharply off the bed. The erotic scent of her filled his nostrils, and so he tasted her again using long, firm brushes. Her whimpering symphony of noise rocked his senses as surely as the sweet taste of her. Her hips lifted to his mouth, as if feeding his hunger. His hands held her thighs in place while he feasted on her tender flesh, his thick tongue dragging up and down slowly, and then faster, causing her to shift and cry out. Gasping, he suckled her whole, his tongue swirling over her clit before dragging downward and entering her. Thrusting inside her in such a way that made his cock envious.
Padme's nails clawed at the sheets, her eyes shut, her heart racing. Her hips slithered her against his agile tongue, while her thighs drew tight around his head. A warm, pulsing glow grew more intense throughout her body. Oh how he ravenously devoured her, his mouth sucking on her so loudly. So without shame and wicked. His hand caressed over her flat belly while his muffled groans aroused her nearly as much as the way his mouth made love to her. He wasn't taking his time and she didn't care, loving the way he nibbled on her clit so powerfully she began shaking. And then just like that he was gone.
Strong hands carefully shifted her on her side and then curled his body around her from behind.
"... love you so much, Angel," Anakin panted before bending down to her lips, kissing her firmly while the hand resting on her hip delved between her damp inner thighs, expertly stroking her clit.
Padme writhed with her back to his chest, arching against his questing hand until two fingers pushed slowly inside her. "Oh, yes... uhhnnn," she moaned as the fingers drove inside her, curling ever so slightly, his thumb massaging hot over her clit. His other hand began to twist and tug at her nipple while the one between her thighs invaded slow and deep, then increased in voracity. "Damn... Ani..." His relentless intent left her weeping all over his fingers. The primal sensations within her quickly reached their apex. She was wound so tight and then she tensed powerfully, sucked in her breath, and climaxed hard with his fingers buried deep inside her. "Anakin yes... feels so good..."
Gazing at her beautifully formed lips, Anakin was lost in capturing the sensual expression she wore for all time. She shuddered mightily against him, her small fist clutching a handful of bed sheets. His heart pounded against his chest, while his cock vibrated against her backside. Unable to resist, he affectionately nibbled along the nape of her sweat-moistened neck, giving her time to gather herself, and then gently withdrew his fingers. Twin liquid trails followed when he methodically ran them up her trembling belly, over her naval, past her breasts, along the column of her throat and chin until he tapered off her cheek and reached his lips. Padme watched open-eyed when he sucked his fingers dry, his gaze never leaving hers for a second. "You taste divine."
"You make me feel divine." The sheer warmth of his large body pressed so closely to hers radiated through her. Tilting her head back, she affectionately caressed his jaw. "Master Jedi, you are magnificent," she proclaimed oh so teasingly. The desired effect of his prideful smirk and the length of him grazing her from behind were evidence enough that whenever she called him that, he loved it to no end. She captured the moment when she reached for him, her fist gliding up and down the hard flesh. When she tightened her hold he began slowly thrusting into her hand. His eyes shut and his head bowed against her shoulder. "See, you're not the only one with that special touch."
There was madness in the way she thoroughly stroked him. "Careful, love. That's not a light saber."
"Oh, it happens to be my favorite light saber," she smiled evilly. "Are you mine, Ani?"
"Always," he was barely able to say.
"Good answer." Lifting her leg beneath the covers, Padme carefully eased him against her entrance, and then pushed back as he thrust his hips forward, burying him inside her. Brown eyes opened and she groaned in pleasure, the heady feel of him trapped within her overwhelming anything else. Her inner muscles trembled around him when he began to take her deeply, straining his body closer to her. Her eyes were shrouded with the tangles of her thick brown hair as the bedsprings creaked rhythmically. He felt so good...big and hard, taking his pleasure from her. The impact of his thrusts jolted her nerves as his hips pounded against her ass. Her hand reached behind his head, tangling her fingers in his hair and drew his mouth to hers once more, sating her hunger for his kiss.
"By the Force, I need you so much, Padme." Claiming her with long, smooth strokes, Anakin pressed open-mouth kisses all over her shoulder and neck. He loved the added heat of being under the covers, their sweat mingling with every forward surge that was met with an equally lustful counter-thrust.
"Don't stop... don't ever stop." Padme shivered with each intense lunge. He knew just how she liked to be taken, driving in hard, then slowly withdrawing, before thrusting deep again, her moaning growing louder. Her body was awash with such pleasure she had no time to calculate the unmistakable sound of Anakin's voice when he wasn't speaking. She heard him just the same... heard his thoughts of how he lusted over her body... so small and tight... how he needed her like the air he breathed. How he loved her endlessly.
Even in the midst of thrusting back against his aggression, she wasn't content to simply listen to his thoughts. No, she wanted more. She needed to push this further than she ever had before. And so she reached out through their bond in the Force as her body clung tightly around him, and sought the inner recesses of his very soul. Sultry waves of carnal euphoria and their Force-bond collided like never before as she began to hear him speaking in another time and place... his words... his feelings... they had nothing to do with their love making.
They were from the past.
Anakin groaned loudly into her thick, curly hair as the hot, dragging friction felt so good. His tongue spiraled around her ear while he took her under the covers, their sweaty skin gliding over each other, his thoughts open to her like never before. His arm circled her slender waist, anchoring her to the sheer momentum of his desire. Clenching spasm after clenching spasm told him she was so close, but before he could take her over the edge she pulled away from him, pushed him on his back, straddled his hips, and then slid him back inside her in one smooth stroke. "Ang..."
As bold as her ambition, Padme's finger pursed over his mouth before he could finish, silencing him as she began to rock slowly over his lap. Her bottom lip trembled ever so... The expression she wore was timeless, sensual, and... Their eyes shut nearly at the same time, again lost in this visceral maelstrom of their lovemaking. The acute fullness of him stimulated her in such a exquisitely feminine way she almost felt greedy for taking such pleasure. Leaning over until her palms braced on his shoulders, her soft, brunette hair hung draped about her face. Her hips swiveled, rocked, and rolled in such a wet rhythm her beloved was left panting and in awe.
Resting his hands on her slender hips, Anakin gazed at his universe, comprised of the incredibly sexy woman making love to him with such longing. Her beautiful face contorted in a sweet grimace of lust, and then her head tilted back while her hips began a low grind. Her nails dug gently into his shoulders, while the slim weight of her rose and fell, drawing on him, massaging him inside her so wickedly.
Focusing on the pleasure and their bond, Padme immersed herself in the Force and her intense love for Anakin. She ghost-walked through his subconscious at light speed, seeing and hearing so much in such a short time. Her heart swelled at the sheer power the first sight of her gave a young Anakin. She soared through the stars with him as he defended Naboo, his youthful ignorance overriding the immense fear that should have crippled a child piloting a starship in a war. Sadness and a sense of destiny set in his eyes when he left his beloved mother behind. And then the images and feelings switched as the Padawan Anakin learned to understand and use the Force, pushing himself harder and harder until he was powerful enough to one day return home to Tattoine and free his mother from a life of slavery.
Satisfying tremors lifted her higher when Anakin began meeting her descending thrusts, his hands now firmly guiding her over his lap. Again she was assailed with the Force penetrating through the soul of the man she loved as his training grew him into a Jedi Knight to be with limitless potential. Every word of praise from Obi-Wan was cherished, but offset more times than not by what he perceived as unfair ridicule. The Jedi Order made him feel small when he saw himself as a looming giant on the horizon. His pride was further stroked by Palpatine's deeply-held belief in his limitless abilities. He was torn apart by perception and the intense fear that everyone around him was using him in some way.
And then wave after wave of staggering emotion and painful experiences swept over Padme so strongly she climaxed suddenly, crying out, tears wetting her eyes. At once she felt Anakin's love and attraction to her from meeting again years later... she sensed his nervousness... his near obsession... the rage of the unjust way his mother died... cold, vile dread and death swirling all around him as he let go of his inhibitions and lashed out with a side of the Force... With the Dark Side for the very first time.
Lifting up, Anakin wrapped his arms around PadmИ, effectively repositioning them backwards with him on top. The covers forgotten, a ferocious lust took over. Her powerful orgasm was all that he could stand as he needed to lose himself inside her. Prompting her legs over his powerful shoulders, he began pounding into her hard and deep as glistening sweat dripped from his face over her body. The bed rattled against the wall in celebration.
In ways she was only now coming to grips with, Padme secretly loved his dark aggression... loved how truly powerful he was as the fierce emotions that drove him were experienced by her. She touched the near limitless well of strength he drew from... felt why he considered no man his equal in all the galaxy... why should he be denied anything... who had the right... his thoughts made sense here, but the feelings were ever changing. His love for her was without end. His children owned his heart. His friendship with Obi-Wan had no equal. What he found in Palpatine he needed more than anyone knew. And the ugly rage and horrific regret over his perceived failure to save his mother's life crippled something inside him.
And then an indescribable wave of dark emotion clawed through Padme 's very spirit. Anger... Fear... Aggression... A fiery Sith dragon curling around all he loved, threatening and enticing him. Whispering that he should take what he wanted. That he was owed his hearts desire. That the Force was a weapon he was born to command so that he could save people from themselves. She sought what she didn't understand and found the cold, endless darkness captivating... and wrong. So very wrong. Greedy. Self-righteous. Overbearing. It was all wrong, but... desirable...
Their children and Anakin's love for her saved him. Utterly, completely saved his soul from a fate worse than... deep, horrible breathing... a cruel, lifeless shell of a being... Truly, he had been saved.
Padme's eyes opened wide amidst another wild orgasm quivering beneath her husband. The bed loudly creaked against the wall, while the twin paintings shook and lifted from their moorings. A plant and two small Ovari statues hovered in mid-air, circling the room. The curved window shook despite the storm having passed, nearly splintering the glass. The entire bed itself suddenly lifted off the floor.
They didn't even notice.
Wrapping her arms around his neck, her legs drawing him in tighter, Padme whispered, "Let go, love."
Three more savage thrusts and then he was gone, bursting hot and deep inside her, his body drained of everything it had. He would hate himself if he had hurt her in his aggression, but his desire released the animal in him.
Suddenly the bed slammed down on the floor. The paintings and other items did as well. The lovers in were just too overwhelmed to care... for now.
Anakin was limp, boneless, shaking, gasping, soaked in their sweat and exhaustion. Unable to hold himself any longer he crumbled gently upon her, his heart pounding in his chest against hers. "Oh, PadmИ. How I love you so..."
Padme's eyes scanned the wall where the painting once hung. What force had their lovemaking unleashed? "That was incredible."
Smiling against her neck, Anakin replied cheekily, "Thanks for loving me too."
"Ani, you know I love you with all that I am. But when a woman experiences what I just experienced you have to give her a moment to compose herself."
"I was that good, huh?"
"You know what?" She kissed his forehead. "You really were." Then she laughed. "Not as good as me, but excellent nonetheless." Laughter soon bubbled out of her.
"What's so funny?"
"My mother called Luke and Leia hellions early in the morning," she replied with another kiss. "Contrary to gossip columnists treating them like perfect little celebrities I bet they were both throwing fits, fighting their breakfast, and only stopped when R2 began broadcasting that Towel-Tina Square Dress show they love so much."
"I swear I just can't get that show's theme song out of my head."
"Me either. It drives me crazy."
"Angel, I just don't have the energy to talk anymore."
"Neither do I." Holding him so tight, Padme brushed soft kisses all over his brow, adorning him with her love. She had never felt closer, or better understood what drove him. What scared, inspired, and nearly killed him. She's touched a brief speck of the sheer power that was the Force.
And more than ever, she wanted to know more.
Ecclessis Aero-Plunging Extravaganza
Cloud City, Bespin
If her mother could see her now...
Standing with the edge of her shoes just off the small platform, Padme gulped upon gazing down off the towering spectacle that was Ecclessis Spire Bridge. Humongous open-air space as far as the eye could see laid before her. If the sixteen-hundred foot drop wasn't terrifying enough, the fact that a shade of hazy fog shrouded the bottom floor where onlookers and emergency crew members could be seen finished the job. It appeared as if once you jumped you would descend into the core of Bespin itself and simply fall forever.
Her heart was lodged somewhere in the vicinity of her throat.
Meanwhile, beside her a very grumpy Anakin stood waiting impatiently. No, he wasn't grumpy that he was about to aero-plunge via leg harnesses off a universally famous sky-bridge in Cloud City. That was thrilling to him beyond words. Alas, the Hero Without Fear wanted to jump without the harness or any safety net. But when questioned as to how he was supposed to survive the fall, revealing he was a Jedi wasn't an option. So now he stood next to his clearly disturbed wife wearing a white jumpsuit of sorts and helmet that matched hers. If Obi-Wan could see him now...
Sparing a quick glance over the edge, Anakin yawned, and then turned to his wife. "You can still back out."
Gritting her teeth, Padme swallowed her apprehension while clearing her mind. People performed these jumps hundreds of times a day, every single day. She could do this. "I remember watching people on the HoloNet do this during the war and thinking they were insane. How could any normal, rational being want to free fall off the edge of something while diving hundreds of feet with only a single corded attached to their legs? I used to laugh at them for their stupidity."
"And now?" Anakin smiled.
"I want to live life to the fullest. Even if it means pushing myself to my limits."
"So you don't think you're crazy?"
"No, I know I'm crazy. There's nothing sane about this." She fired a little wink his way and then checked her leg harness again. The crowds behind them were waiting their turn, while she was still working her mind up to the task of jumping. "But I'm not going to live in fear anymore. I'm in Cloud City and I don't want to leave here saying I was afraid to do something."
Her courageousness matched her beauty perfectly. Anakin adored this new side of her, so willing to take risks and test fate. The war changed their lives dramatically, perhaps illuminating the need for them to grab life by the throat and live in the moment. The knight and the Senator were now the Vice Chair and Jedi Master, even more epically important than that, they're parents to Luke and Leia.
The latter being the title they held most dear.
"Okay, Padme. Its time to jump before those Glomorian Tellar's start complaining." He motioned towards the very tall, pale-skinned, horned men... women? He wasn't quite sure.
Nodding her head, Padme took a couple of deep breaths while wishing she could see the ground below. They were so high up, with gusting winds and crowds of onlookers cheering all the jumpers. But those cheers were fast becoming groans as she just couldn't force herself to jump yet. It was so far down and her knees were shaking. Dammit, she swore under her breath. Where was the woman who fought fearlessly beside Jedi on Geonosis?
Maybe she was still on Geonosis?
With his wife's face clearly etched in dread, Anakin considered the situation carefully before acting. Well, he considered it as long as he usually did, which was in the blink of an eye. He fell to one knee and double checked Padme's leg harness, the density of her cord, and that her jumpsuit was attuned to the emergency safety net's frequency.
"Ani, what are you doing?"
Resting his hand at the small of her back, he offered, "Just giving you the necessary push that you need."
Having given his wife a mild nudge off the platform, his name hung in the winds as she fell rapidly.
"... GET YOU FOR THIS ANAKIN!"
He was sure he'd pay later, but the expression on her face was priceless. Turning around to give the crowds a daring bow that they ate up, he spread his arms and soared off the bridge like a bird, descending so fast and with such aerial flair the crowd roared their approval.
Scanning for PadmИ, he found her spirit through the Force damning him with uncharacteristic expletives while screaming at the top of her lungs. The free fall felt incredible, and just before his cord stretched at the end hers did first, flinging her upwards past him, her arms flailing.
Anakin erupted with laughter while dangling upside down, hearing that same chant five times in succession each time Padme passed him. "YOU CAN THANK ME LATER, ANGEL!"
"I'M GOING TO TAKE YOUR LIGHT SABER, TURN IT SIDEWAYS AND SHOVE IT UP YOUR..."
Yes, life was good.
Synclair Gravitational Arena
Cloud City, Bespin
Anakin had to admit, being rich had it's benefits.
While peering around the massive dome, one of ten that he and Padme had all to themselves, he couldn't help but to be impressed. The luxury of being able to afford to rent this amazing zero-gravity playground with its ceiling-hung hoops, padded floors and walls had its advantages. After going over the Pair O' Dice Hotel's entertainment Holo-brochures he couldn't resist being able to actually fly at this facility. It took a little convincing for Padme to come inboard as they had already decided to aero-plunge, but she couldn't help but to want to feel the exhilaration of flying.
If only she wasn't giving him the silent treatment from Sith-hell at the moment. While touring the large adult playroom as the green anti-gravity generators began humming around them, Padme's utter silence despite his numerous apologies was putting a damper on his mood. He wasn't just getting the cold shoulder but the whole frigid body. Nonetheless, he approached her from behind and tried to wrap his arms around her, only to have to her escape while shrugging him away. "Padme, I've said I am sorry."
"You don't mean it," she stated with her back to him, arms crossed her chest, even as a sudden sense of lightheaded came over her due to the gravity changing around them. "Most wives will never experience the humiliation of being pushed off a bridge by their husband."
Only Padme Skywalker could say that with a straight face and as serious as a heart attack. Anakin bowed his head to keep from laughing. "I think I saw something like that happen on one of those LifeNet Channel movies you claim to never watch, but do secretly."
"Your sense of humor isn't appreciated at this time."
"I prefer to think of what I did as a love tap."
The urge to throw her shoe at his head was a bit too juvenile for one such as her. Still, the urge remained. "Just stay over there, Anakin. I don't want to look at you right now."
Try as she did to Force-shield her feelings from him, he was just too powerful for that. At best she was mildly offended at his transgression, but also a bit peeved she hadn't thought of pushing him first. That thought amused him to no end. Still, he had to make it up to her. As his steps lifted higher than normal, courtesy of the zero gravity, he came around to stand before her. His hands clasped in a pose of submission. He could regal her with compliments or detail with an infinite amount of affection just how incredibly beautiful she was. He could tell her that she was his world and go on and on about his love for her, but there was one thing and one thing only that she would truly appreciate for where she was in her life at this time.
"PadmИ, you won't change a single diaper for one standard month. Deal?"
That drew her attention, and her eyes as they found his. Pride saw her pause a moment to consider his trade for her forgiveness. Alas, he's such a beautiful man who drove her crazy in every possible way. In addition to being a parent with her, as well as her husband and lover, he was her very best friend. She loved him no matter the mistakes he made. "If you ever shove me off another bridge so help me, I will..."
Anakin nodded while doing his best to suppress laughing as Padme didn't realize that with each and every single threat she uttered, she was slowly rising from the floor.
"...and wrap it around your..."
At this point Anakin was now face-to-face with PadmИ, who still didn't realize she was rising from the floor.
"... after putting the fire out you wouldn't be any use to me or any other woman for the rest of your life. Do you hear me loud and clear, Mr. Skywalker?"
By now Anakin's looking up at her, and when her face broke out in such a cute embarrassed smile, he couldn't resist gently grabbing her hips and dragging her back down into his arms. "Yes, my master."
"Hey, none of that." She giggled before his lips brushed softly over hers, and then again and again until she swooned in his arms, clutching him tightly. And when she found them both floating off the floor she thought it was kind of romantic. "Were floating."
"That's a keen observation."
"Do not mock me, oh future diaper changer."
"I wouldn't dream of mocking a Vice Chair."
"And I would never have dreamed you would toss me off a bridge."
"Toss?" he smiled at her. "I simply pressed at the small of your back and your petite weight sent you flying."
"You can never win this conversation, Ani. It's best to just stop now while you ca... are we twirling?"
"It's a Force thing. Just go with it."
If anyone could see the duo now they would be faced with the sight of a man and a woman kissing in mid-air while spinning around. Moments later they parted laughing, before attempting some form of a cat and mouse chase while air-swimming, for lack of a better term.
Their chase took them through numerous colored hoops hung from the ceiling and through a winding, padded tunnel that saw Anakin steal Padme's shoes off her feet. Now it was wife chasing husband, only she couldn't quite keep up as he was moving much faster and more fluid than she was. "You're cheating."
"That was so childish and far from grammatically correct."
"You need to lighten up and learn how to fly." While floating on his back, he watched Padme propel herself the way their trainer told her to do, but every time she got close he edged farther way at a rate of speed she just couldn't keep up with. "I'll teach you... for a price."
After performing an impressive back flip above her husband, Padme noted, "After shoving me off a bridge..."
"Alright, alright. Come here." Anakin reached out for her hand and drew her to him. His lips kissed the top of her hand, offering another silent apology. He then motioned for her to stretch out as if she were lying on a bed with her legs extended. She mimicked his pose precisely. "This position isn't as important as it's the easiest way for you to learn how to do this."
Anakin moved beside her and then shut his eyes. Padme did as well. "Last time I showed you a very basic way to extend the Force to manipulate an object. Today, you're the object. I'm going to show you how to surround yourself with the Force and use it to guide whatever it is you want to do."
Calming her breathing, she recalled her last lesson to prepare her mind for what was to come. "It's amazing to imagine being able to have such control over something you can't see or touch."
"The Force is something no one, not even Master Yoda, will ever truly comprehend." Ever since Padme began exhibiting her Force-abilities these private lessons were fast becoming something Anakin loved to do. "Center your mind and body. Relax and feel the Force flow through you. Good... When you're calm and at peace you will feel connected to every living being and every world in the universe through the Force. I want you to focus on that. Focus on being a part of something greater than yourself. Feel the limitless energy you are a part of."
Though struggling to fully immerse herself in the Force, Padme slowly began to sense of her place in the universe. She knew she'd never know the Force the way a Jedi would, but ever the perfectionist, she wanted to experience as much as a Force-sensitive normal person could. So far, she was way ahead of even what she hoped for.
"That limitless well of energy that binds us, focus on your portion of it. Feel the influence you have over the Force. You're a part of it. Everyone is, whether they are Jedi or not. Focus on that. Instead of feeling as though you can't touch this connection, know that you are a vital part of it. Imagine the energy surrounding you as if you were in a pool of water. When your hand moves waves flow. The Force is no different. Imagine the Force around your body. Will it to propel you forward."
Anakin opened his eyes and found Padme was not only moving forward through the air, but she was farther ahead than he had hoped. What was once a mysterious curiosity that she was Force-sensitive has now become a full-blown theory that she might be far more Force-sensitive than he realized.
What was even more interesting was that at the moment, she was doing this all on her own. He had separated their connection not long ago so that she might learn without the benefit of his abilities. Apparently she had more than enough of her own. "I love you, Angel."
"Come, Ani. Fly with me."
The penthouse apartment owned by Republic Vice Chair Padme Amidala-Skywalker
Senate Apartment Complex connected to 500 Republica
Located in the Senate District
Galactic City, Coruscant
"... you're going to find that many of the truths we cling to depend greatly on our own point of view," Obi-Wan spoke softly to a yawning Luke, thankful the child seemed close to falling asleep again. While touring back and forth across the veranda in hopes of sending Anakin's son back to bed, Coruscant's gentle, and warm night wind aided in the Jedi Master's goal. "But in order to harness the Force properly, once must rest. Sleep will leave you refreshed and ready to face the new day. It will also give your Uncle Ben a much needed break. And you must never, ever pee in my face again when I change your diaper. Are we clear on that point?"
Luke, gazing innocently at Obi-Wan, gurgled some pleasant childish noise while smiling as if he understood exactly what he did earlier and found it hilarious.
"Ever the joker, just like your father." While cradling Luke in his arms, Obi-Wan listened when soft footsteps approached from behind.
"For goodness sake, Obi-Wan, just use the Force on him like Anakin does, and he'll be out like a light."
Obi-Wan found SabИ leaning against the wall just outside the veranda. Her expression regarded him with mild amusement, yet he also sensed a part of her thought well of the way he handled the baby. The new Chief of Security for Vice-Chair Skywalker possessed the most mysteriously enchanting dark brown eyes he had ever seen. Her black, form-fitting attire bewitched him as well. "I wasn't aware you could do that. And I must admit my experience with infants is limited."
SabИ lazily stretched her arms above her head, enjoying the soothing pull of muscle. "Whatever your experience is, it's still greater than my own... See, I don't do babies. That's why I work with a blaster and not a bottle."
"I must admit Leia can scream like a wild Oran banshee when she's hungry."
"That's usually my cue to exit the room." While attempting to block the memory of Leia's paristeel-glass shattering cry from her mind, Sabe joined the duo on the veranda. When she peered out over the sprawling brilliance that was Galactic City it suddenly dawned on her she'd been on Coruscant for more than sixty standard days now, her longest stay on a single world in over five years. What that ultimately said about her, she wasn't sure.
Coruscant's seemingly endless lanes of sky traffic appeared busier than ever tonight, no doubt due to the opening of the massive, new Galactic Republic Stadium. If she wasn't on baby-bodyguard duty while giving the Naberrie family a night off she'd been at the game screaming her head off like everyone else. Instead she was stuck here with a stuffy, self-righteous, know-it-all Jedi Master whose accent was far too sexy for his own good. And why did he just smile when she thought that?
"Do you have any family, Sabe?"
She exhaled deeply, thoroughly unprepared for that personal question. "I'm an only child, and I haven't seen my parents since I was eighteen standard years old."
Her emotions flared through the Force. Ben noted her mood darkening by the second. Obviously he had touched a nerve. "By choice?"
"Yes." Her tone was brief and final. Her past wasn't to be discussed... ever.
While gently rocking Luke in his arms, Obi-Wan watched over the majesty of Galactic City. It was the only home he'd ever known, and yet tonight that mere thought had him in turmoil. "I have three sisters."
Hearing a Jedi other than Anakin speak of his or her family was virtually unheard of. "I was under the impression Jedi were never told of their place of birth or family?"
"We aren't," Obi-Wan replied. "But the Jedi Archives have been opened, and any Padawan, Knight, or Master who wishes to know where they came from can find out. I must admit, my curiosity has gotten the best of me the more time I spend with Anakin and his family." A thoughtful sigh escaped him. "So much has changed within the Jedi Order in recent times."
Standing next to him, Sabe couldn't help but to offer a little wave to a smiling Luke. "What did you learn?"
"That I was born on a planet called Bylista, and I have three younger sisters. Two of whom have children." He paused for a meaningful moment. "My parents passed away in a starship accident a decade ago." The notion that he'd missed so much he never knew anything about shook him to the core. "Truthfully, I only skimmed the information. It was a bit overwhelming, seeing the life that could of have been. I could have learned more, but..."
"It was too much?" she seemed to understand, all the while sensing a kinship with the Jedi Master she wished wasn't there.
"Yes." Echoed just as brief and final as she had answered earlier.
This was so out of her element. Sabe nervously ran her hands over the twin blasters on her hips, feeling a bit uncomfortable. If she weren't such a broken woman, and perhaps a better person, she would know what to say to get him to open up more and talk about what she could clearly see was bothering him. Then again, that person would probably be able to better deal with her own issues of self-loathing and the ugliness in her past. Alas, the best she could offer was a small nod.
Obi-Wan was more than a little grateful that Luke had finally fallen back asleep. "Thank you, little one." He carried the child back into the apartment and the nursery, settling him down for the night. After checking in on Leia, he used the Force the quietly shut the door behind him.
Standing outside the nursery, Obi-Wan contemplated that if a year ago anyone would have told him the Clone Wars would be over, Anakin had been married since it began, Palpatine was the Sith Lord all along, his best friend would nearly turn to the dark side, nearly half of the Jedi Code would be amended, and that he'd be working more at the Galactic Senate instead of the Jedi Council he would have sworn that person had lost his mind. Especially since he detested politics. But the reality around him could not be denied. Change was the real unstoppable force in the universe, and in his private time he'd experienced a great deal of unease over that. He knew what a Jedi Master's role in the Republic was, but a personal life he was raised to give no thought to was now an option he found himself woefully unprepared for.
Noisy clatter drew Obi-Wan's attention from across the room. He found Sabe rummaging through the wall-mounted refrigeration unit. She happily emerged with a bottle of red Tattoine Bless wine, uncorked it and began drinking directly from the bottle. A crimson droplet dangled from her bottom lip when she finished, and then was slowly swept away by her tongue. A creeping sensation of desire, one that was most unwelcome in her presence, again awakened. "You're drinking on the job."
"With what I've heard of your colorful undercover activities in lower-level bars," she smirked while making her way back toward the veranda. Her eyes followed him as he pursued. "I'd say that was quite the hypocritical assessment."
Obi-Wan grazed his beard with his hand, suppressing a small smile. "Jedi business requires me to fit in certain circles as the people around me do."
"That was such an excuse for simply enjoying a drink from time to time." Sabe backed against the veranda's broad railing, and then hauled herself up on it, her back to Galactic City. "You so-called keepers of the peace try so hard to appear above what us normal people struggle with. Don't pretend to be the good little sainted Jedi, Obi-Wan."
"I don't like you well enough to call you Ben yet." That very moment the bottle of wine lifted from her hand, called to Obi-Wan's grasp via the Force. "That was so unfair."
"I don't like you well enough to let you have all the fun." After a long drink he approached her, enjoying her company far too much.
"A great deal of you Force junkies abuse your gifts," she teased, arms folded over her chest.
"We're given the gift of the Force to first learn, and then use to protect and serve the people of the Republic, SabИ."
"Count Dooku didn't protect and serve anyone except himself."
"The Sith are selfish, and the Jedi are far from perfect. No body of people are. Least of all those sensitive to the Force as they have vastly more power to abuse," he noted truthfully. "Still, one mustn't see enemies in everyone."
He closed the distance between them, causing her to swallow hard. His pointed stare sent a warm ripple of sensual awareness through her belly. "I don't trust easily. And those with the most power and influence, I barely trust at all."
"Then how will you ever let anyone get close to you?"
She flirtatiously licked her lips. "I sincerely hope you're not trying?"
"Perish the thought." He could sense her unexpected attraction to him and found the feeling mutual. She was rebellious, dangerous, and vastly untouchable. Couple that with more than a passing resemblance to PadmИ, a woman he found very beautiful and yet saw as a family member and not a woman. Not the way he saw SabИ now.
She was striking. He was captivated.
Sabe methodically ran her fingers through her short, dark hair. "I stole the wine. Shouldn't I get the luxury of finishing it off?"
Obi-Wan didn't say a word. Extending his hand, she snatched the bottle from him. Eager to show off her drinking prowess, she finished the bottle and then tossed it over the railing. Building garbage scows quickly caught the rapidly descending item. "So why am I here and not DormИ?"
Hands behind his back, her question sparked his attention. "You're better with a blaster than she is."
Sabe laughed, "A fair assessment, but she'd be a lot nicer to you when the lights go out, if you catch my drift."
"Whatever it is that you are alluding to, let me assure you that Dorme and I are close friends and no more."
"Not that I care." Dammit, she hated how fast the words left her lips. She suddenly felt young and aware of his elder age all the more. "There were rumors."
"We were getting close... once. It just wasn't meant to be." When he stepped closer her legs crossed defensively. He was a bit surprised to find her intimidated, to some degree. "Your curiosity about my personal life is... well, curious."
"Don't flatter yourself. It was the alcohol talking. I was trying not to annoy you for once."
"You're beautiful when you're not annoying."
The shadows hid her blush. "Is charm a Jedi mind trick?"
"So you think I'm charming?"
"I never said..." his smirking expression left her with the impish desire to kick him. Hard! Dammit, she hated when Padme was right, which was far too often. Obi-Wan wasn't getting under her skin; he was already there. She hated authority, and yet his omnipotent Jedi swagger made him dangerously sexy. She could flirt and toy with him, yes. But eventually he'd see through it all and see her. If he did that he'd want no part of what he found. She was damaged goods in her own eyes. She couldn't bear to see what he'd think with his.
Obi-Wan appraised her mood. "You're quiet."
"Maybe I feel cornered."
"Who is trying to trap you someplace you don't want to be?" Her exotic eyes and soft mouth drew him closer to the fire. "I think you're scared."
"I'm not afraid of anything." Her defiance only drew him closer. Unconsciously, she slid off the railing on her feet, standing before him with all of Galactic City behind her. "You think you know everything, including me. But you don't have a clue."
"Enlighten me." A breath of air lived between them, their eyes locked, the moment charged with heat. Obi-Wan sensed many reasons why this fiery young woman would be deep trouble for him, but maybe he needed some trouble in his solitary life. She was a free spirit in every possible way, so unlike himself. Sabe knew she was a colossal mess who hid it well, but deep down felt such sincerity and character lived within this man. He was brave and selfless in a way she felt was a lost trait in the galaxy.
Her heart was pounding in her chest.
The urge was fast becoming a need to claim her seductive mouth.
Leia's insanely loud crying suddenly crashed their private moment, offering Sabe just enough of a reason to create distance. She mentally chided herself for what she almost let happen. She couldn't go there with him or anyone. Not anymore. And she was being foolish that he'd want anything more than a fling. Here she was a former bounty hunter given a job by a good friend, while he was an acclaimed war hero and Jedi Master. One of the most powerful and recognizable men in the universe.
Certainly deserving of a woman who wasn't emotionally crippled.
Side-stepping him, Sabe slowly made her way back into the apartment. "You tend to Leia. I'm off to bed." Before waiting for his reply she offered something she couldn't deny herself. Whether it was a bad idea or not she'd ponder another day. "Goodnight... Ben."
The intimacy of using his first "other" name for the very first time was the opening he'd been looking for. Obi-Wan watched her fade away and then sighed. Where in the world was his life headed? This was the uncharted territory he was woefully unskilled in. And while he secretly hoped what he felt for SabИ after only two and a half months was only a simple attraction, she began to burn under his skin and invade his dreams.
This wasn't the kind of thing that happened to Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi.
As for Ben Kenobi, he was only now tasting life for the very first time. And so far it tasted like her.
Inside a rusty, striped blue and white twin-engined Zepram Air-Taxi
The Lower Level - Section D9 Just outside of Port Town, entering the entertainment district
Cloud City, Bespin
"... Now if you want the best, most greasy double-Crucian burger on the whole flipping planet, you need to see Dressel over there," from behind the controls of his heavily-modified air-taxi, Rex pointed with a casual nod toward the red floating food cart piloted by a one-eyed Homnian. He was surrounded by hungry customers and was obviously enjoying his work, joking and laughing with the crowd. "Due to having one eye, he might not have the best vision, but he makes a delicious sandwich guaranteed to clog your arteries. Also, if you need guns, jewelry, or your hair cut..." the friendly, hulking four-armed Besalisk alien air-taxi driver noted to his passengers in the back. "Or not. Your choice," he shrugged wearing a smile.
Nestled comfortably against Anakin, Padme's eyes drank in the chaotic wonder that was Cloud City's loud, bustling lower level communities. Having researched the best tour guides around, a kindly older gentlemen working at the Pair 'O Dice hotel suggested a burly, slightly unhinged alien named Rex as the one person who could give them a culturally accurate tour of Cloud City. Apparently he knew the lower levels better than anyone, and had his own, unique way of presenting its finer points.
A man of many talents, Rex was known as a superb tour guide, air-taxi driver, illegal droids salesmen, part-time mercenary, and freighter pilot. His appearance was as unmistakable as the owner of Dex's Diner on Coruscant. He was also Dex's twin brother, a point made obvious the moment the Skywalker's saw him. He also had a picture of his brother and himself in front of the diner on his dashboard.
Anakin and Padme couldn't acknowledge how well they knew Dex, but if Rex was half as personable and fun to be around they felt he was the perfect guide.
"On your right, next to those death-stick smoking Wookies, you'll see an emerald starship seemingly parked in a clearing," Rex drew their attention. "That's Jepetto's Boutique. They offer the finest stol... uhm, 'recovered' high-fashion clothing at the best prices you ever saw. Jepetto herself, now she's an ornery one. Old as dust, twice as mean, and three times as sharp. Carries a blaster in one hand and a calculator in the other. She's great peoples unless you're stealing. Then you're..." A single blaster shot went off from inside the starship. "Don't worry. She only shoots thieves."
"Jepetto sounds like quite the character," Padme noted in an amused tone as the air-taxi rapidly swerved back and forth around lanes of traffic that were far less organized than on Coruscant. The electric atmosphere and extravaganza that was Cloud City lay before her, bold in color and design more so on the lower levels than upper. She hadn't seen such a rich display of alien races in all her life, easily rivaling any day at the Galactic Senate Hall. "So how long have you been doing this, Rex?"
Rex snorted, and then took a long pull from a bottle of some crimson colored liquid. "Oh, 'bout ten years or so, milady. See, my brother Dex and me, we had a bad run in with some Tynnan's who owed us some money for a job we did for them. We got ambushed and almost blasted into space dust. Of course later on we stomped the... well, let's just say, they paid us double. After that, smuggling just wasn't as appealing to us anymore. We'd lost our taste for interstellar crime. There was just no honor amongst thieves anymore, you know. We'd been out around the galaxy at that point for going on twenty standard years. See, my brother Dex was a great cook. And he could hot wire a starship in ten standard second flat, but that's a story for another day," he grinned. "Dex dreamed of owning a restaurant on Coruscant, while me, I liked the slot machines and dancing girls if you catch my drift." His passengers looked to be enjoying themselves. "Cloud City called out to me and here I am."
Criss-crossing past a massive three-engined shuttle-bus, Anakin pointed out a small starship with tinted windows that, while parked, was rocking gently. Giving his wife a wink, Padme playfully shifted his attention away from the obviously amorous activities taking place there.
"You know, I sell movies of 'that' variety if you're into..." When Padme cleared her throat Rex laughed and said no more.
Suddenly Rex was cut off in traffic by a group of wild young teens on speeder bikes. "HEY YOU JERKS! YOU'RE SO LUCKY I DON'T TAKE MY KRESSLEN BLADE AND RIP YOUR..." Aware of his passengers again, he turned and gave them an endearing smirk so reminiscent of his brother's. "Sorry. I've got a bit of road rage in me."
"I know the feeling all too well," Anakin noted, and then tapped Rex's shoulder, pointing towards a massive garage-like facility surrounded by glowing lights and holographic images. "What is that place?"
Rex laughed deep in his throat. "That, my friend, is the home of the 'Stack Your Starship' crew. Those guys will take any piece of old crap starship and don't care if the only thing that works on it is the interstellar radio. For the right credits they'll give it the best of everything, all the while adding some of the most imaginative features you've ever seen. They have a holo-show filmed there as well. I'd love to see what they could do with this hunk of junk," he noted, rapping his large fist over the rusty control console.
Anakin couldn't help but to wonder what those guys could do to his Jedi fighter.
"So where are you two from?" Rex asked.
"Hey, hey, hey, it's cool," Rex chuckled while looking in the rear view mirror when they tried to talk at the same time, and with differing answers. "What happens in Cloud City stays in Cloud City. That's the motto we live by."
"Thank you," Padme offered in a mildly embarrassed tone. "We're attempting to keep a low profile. Discretion," she dropped five hundred credits over Rex's shoulder, "Is greatly appreciated."
A big pocket book went a long way with Rex. "Understood, milady."
With the day drawing to a beautiful close, Bespin's gloriously serene two-hour sunset was a wonder to behold as Rex gave Anakin and Padme a slow tour past a very long stretch of skyway that made the visual even that more grand. Anakin held Padme close in his arms, his face pressed gently against her hair, enjoying the moment of peace and calm with his wife. Truly, Cloud City was a majestic place.
"Speaking of my dear brother again," Rex began with a knowing snicker, "He's really good friends with two very well known Jedi Master's. Old Ben Kenobi and that crazy one, Ani something or another." Padme had to cover her mouth to keep from laughing. "There was this one time my brother bet one of them that if he could eat ten Sqauli bugs he'd get his next three meals free." Shaking his head, the driver continued. "Have you ever seen a Sqauli bug? Each of them have ten little spiny legs and four eyes. Scaly too. Dex always said when they're deep fried in batter and seasoned their supposed to be a delicacy. But fresh from their home world, they're just bugs. Well, long story short, the Jedi Master ate all ten bugs."
Try as she might, and she did, Padme didn't need the Force to capture the guilty, worried expression on Anakin's face. Time and time again she'd warned him about what he ate during the war, and how she never, ever wanted any knowledge of that. But to take a bet to eat ten bugs when they were, for lack of a better term, very wealthy, so that he could get three meals free was preposterous. "If I might inquire, what was that Jedi Master's name?"
Rex stole another gaze in his rear view mirror, grinned wide, and then said, "Master Obi-Wan Kenobi. Apparently it was believed he would never do such a thing, but when you get a group of men together and they start daring each other you just never know what might happen. Why there was this one time I was dared to run naked... Okay, I'll save that one for another time," he laughed again.
Anakin politely awaited his apology, and was given a quick smack of a kiss. "Is that all?"
"For now," Padme winked as they came upon another shopping district. "Rex, I think I'd like to do some shopping here. You can pull over and we'll pay you. This has been a truly wonderful tour."
Setting his air-taxi down near a busy street lined with stores, Rex favored his guests with an appreciative nod. "I'm happy you enjoyed the trip. It's always nice to show off Cloud City to new comers for the very first time." Anakin exited the air-taxi first while whispering a silent 'thank you' over Padme's shoulder. "You two have a wonderful evening."
Padme finished counting her credits. "We shall. And this is for you."
Rex's heart... both of them, nearly stopped when he was handed ten thousand credits. His eyes popped with glee. "Thank you again... Mrs. Skywalker."
It was Padme's turn to be surprised as her face fell in shock, and then curled into a smile. "How?"
"Milady, my kind are immune to the Force. Dex loves playing cards with Ben because he can't cheat or read his mind. And my eyes weren't clouded the second you climbed into my little transport. But have no fear. As I said before, what happens on Cloud City stays on Cloud City. And my brother thinks very highly of you and your husband."
"Yes, well, that is greatly appreciated." Padme waved goodbye. "Take care, Rex."
"Same to you, milady."
With a gorgeous full moon overhead, the Skywalker's took to the Lower Level streets for an up-close look at Cloud City by night. The next standard hour passed as Padme held onto Anakin's arm, touring the sights while enjoying themselves tremendously. For once they were just another nameless, faceless couple lost in the crowd. That in itself was a small miracle.
After purchasing gifts for their nieces, the Skywalker's enjoyed the amazing talents of a group of amphibious underwater acrobats who performed inside a massive oval water tank while their flamboyant trainer roused the crowds with a boisterous voice.
Then they sampled delicious cream-filled Beslen cakes, baked and prepared in front of them by a seemingly harmless humanoid elderly couple operating an outside bakery. The gentle street vendors pointed out a few more points of interest for the Skywalker's to see, told a couple of stories about some of the crazy things they've witnessed on Cloud City over the years, and then out of nowhere invited Anakin and Padme to a nudist party they were throwing later on. One that, if they were so inclined, could be a most pleasurable experience.
"Thanks, but no thanks." Clearly appalled, Padme quickly led Anakin way from them, blushing furiously while trying not to imagine ever seeing them naked. Her husband, however, found the offer hilarious. Twice he asked her to reconsider, to which she answered by yanking his ear and then walking off altogether until he caught up to her. "Ani, by the Force if you tease me for not knowing what a swinger is..."
He kissed her on the forehead, laughing softly with her and not at her.
Upon hearing a crowd's applause up ahead, they came to a stop to enjoy a trio of lovely female Togruta singers. Padme couldn't get over how on a busy street, surrounded by, in her estimation, nearly one hundred people, none of them recognized her or her husband. While not dressed in what one might normally find them wearing, they were hardly wearing hoods or confining clothing. And yet despite all of that not so much as one person had even given them a second glance.
That was due, she was sure, to her husband's extraordinary Force ability. She could feel the mild confusion he gently broadcasted all around them. It wasn't so strong as it was vastly far-reaching. So much so that she could tell people as far down the street as she could see were probably affected. It was as if they could see her and Anakin, but not quite remember if they resembled anyone they had ever met or seen before.
The Force was simply so powerful with Anakin, and he himself was still so young. She couldn't imagine what he would be capable of in the next decade. And she was curious as to her own limits as she intended to follow his teachings to reach her full potential.
Amidst her quiet thoughts Padme was suddenly struck by inspiration.
Out the corner of his eye, Anakin suddenly realized he'd lost sight of Padme. He reached out with his thoughts and found her easily. Side-stepping a couple of rude droids, he found her holding a clear plastic rifle of sorts, standing at a small games stand. She was aiming at a group of fast-moving holographic creatures flying in front of her. And to the game stands owner's horror, she was nailing each and every one of the creatures no matter how fast they moved with perfect accuracy.
She was full of surprises, his Padme. Anakin was so amused when he realized she was doing something he had never seen her do before. She was... for lack of a better term, cheating. She was using the Force to guide her aim and reaction time. She was actually doing something bad, which only made him love her more. And when she was done he saw what she won for her skill. Suddenly, his love for her began to fade as he backed away. "No, Padme. Don't even think it."
Holding onto a gigantic orange stuffed Shaak, Padme held it out to her husband. "When I saw this I just had to win it for you. After all, that creature holds a special place in my heart. Remember back on Naboo when in your bold attempt to impress me you fell off its back while trying to surf on it. To this day it's one of my fondest memories."
Looking to his left, and then his right, Anakin heard a fair share of snickering when he took the stuffed animal from her. In fact, if you sat it down on the ground, it wasn't that much shorter than Padme herself. "This is humiliating."
"You'll live," Padme teased, and then looped her arm around his. "Your wife just won you a big stuffed animal, and you haven't even thanked her yet."
"Thank you, milady," he declared tongue-in-cheek, grinning. "You cheated."
Padme's eyes lit up from his assumption. "I did no such thing. I shot the rifle to the best of my ability and paid four times the normal rate to play. When I won on the first try I allowed him to keep the rest of the credits, which I am sure would be fair trade for Shanikan."
"Shaak and Anakin merged for all time. I didn't trust you to name him."
"I find your lack of faith distressing."
Padme and Anakin walked down the winding street until they stopped at a small table with a boy, appearing no older then twelve years of age was apparently orchestrating a card game of sorts. He possessed short dark hair and a wry smile, seemingly at ease in the presence of gambling adults. In fact, he wasn't just at ease, he was winning, much to the dismay of those that left his table lighter in the credits department.
"Thank you, come again." Having racked up no less than two hundred credits already, the young boy proudly sat back in his chair, and then almost fell off when his eyes caught sight of quite possibly the most beautiful woman he had ever seen. His demeanor changed as he sat up straighter, smoothing down the simple black vest he wore. He stood to his feet when she approached with her companion. "Milady, can I... can I interest you in a game of Sabbac?" he asked nervously.
"Perhaps." Padme considered this young boy had no business being out here unattended and gambling on the corner, but the rules of Cloud City were... well, that was a problem here. "Why are you alone?"
"I'm part of the crew on the Trader's Luck. My captain's unloading some merchandise across the way, so I had some time to kill before we lift off." Standing to his feet, he extended his hand to the lady. "My name's Han Solo."
"It's a pleasure to meet you, Han Solo." Appraising him, Padme could tell he would grow to be a very handsome young man. He was already tall for his age, and possessed a bit of something she saw in her Anakin. This one was going to be trouble, no matter how young he was. "Dearest, would you like to play a hand?"
Anakin didn't like the way the kid was openly leering at PadmИ. "I'm not interested in taking the credits of some scruffy looking kid."
"Who's scruffy looking?" Han challenged, already not caring for the lady's companion. "You're holding a giant stuffed animal, and you have the nerve to insult me?"
Padme's attempt to not laugh wasn't helping. Anakin crossed his arms. "I don't gamble with children."
"It might be fun," Padme considered.
"I can think of other ways for us to..."
"Ahem, children present."
Han looked back and forth between them. "Look, my ship's departing in a little while. There's no time to discuss this in a committee."
Padme's eyes narrowed. "We are not a committee." When she smiled he blushed, and that alone charmed her. For some strange reason she had a feeling this one, a bit rough around the edges as he was, would live an extraordinary life. There was just something about him... "Alas I think we'll take our leave. Have a good and safe evening, Han."
"You too, milady." Han then made a rather rude gesture to her companion, who slowly lifted his hand until Padme politely captured it and whispered something about "...orce choking kids."
A retired Venator-class Republic Cruiser converted into a state-of-the-art cruising night-club
Cloud City, Bespin
It began with a dare by moonlight.
On their last night in Cloud City, Anakin wanted to throw caution to the wind and tempt fate one last time. Responsibilities, both personal and professional awaited them back on Coruscant. But here, there were no expectations of good behavior. No prying eyes judging any adventure they might indulge in. The sheer lawlessness of Cloud City was half the fun in his eyes. And though Padme was loathed to admit it, his rebelliousness was infectious.
Perhaps that was why she whispered in his ear, "Let's find some trouble to get into, Master Jedi"
While out gambling in the Lower Level entertainment district, the Skywalker's were stopped by tri-legged host-droid outside of the Lady Luck Casino two standard hours ago. The droid elaborately introduced itself as Haven, and then advertised for a special "invitation-only" humanoid starship night-club that catered to the most decadent, sensual desires in the galaxy. The droid's eye-cam was being monitored by a humanoid female who sought out the most attractive and wealthy casino players with an offer to spend a night losing themselves in the darkness of their most carnal fantasies.
For an entrance fee of ten thousand credits an unforgettable experience was promised where your inhibitions could be unleashed on the dance floor... or anywhere else a party goer wanted too. Guests enjoyed endless exotic drinks mixed to warm your soul as nothing was forbidden at this night club. Dress, or lack there of, was optional.
Decency was prohibited.
Padme was appalled.
Anakin was intrigued.
As the droid departed Padme sighed in relief, and then was faced with her husband's relentless gaze. Anakin gently captured her beautiful face in his strong hands, caressed her cheek with the pad of his thumb while gazing intimately into her eyes. He bent close to her ear and challenged that a place like the Risque Liaison, they'd never enter again. But for one night they could taste a darker state of being. She need not fear anything with him by her side.
The queen within countered with class, not cowardice being her reason for not needing to enter such an establishment.
That was when he captured her mouth before she could utter another word, kissing her so passionately... drawing her tightly against his chest, dragging his tongue along hers in a way that screamed how badly he desired this risky endeavor.
Suddenly, Padme was curious.
Her resolve further weakened the longer he nibbled over the pulse in her neck. In a low tone of voice drenched in wanting, Anakin dared her to go to this place with him. He dared her to savor the night club's erotic atmosphere, while pledging nothing would take place she didn't want too. He dared her to drink until she saw stars, dance her body against his until she was wet, and fulfill anything she'd ever desired.
"Take me there," was all that she allowed to escape her pursed lips.
Thus began their last adventure into the sinful unknown.
The flimsy, seductive dress Padme chose was as crimson as the warm blood racing through her veins. Cut short, its sexy low back and deep V-neck front exposed her to Anakin's hungry eyes. And when their shuttle landed on the windy deck of the Risque Liaisons night club, a carefree sense of wildness swept over her. Perhaps she was allowing herself out of a self-imposed cage for one night, testing her limits. Anakin's all black attire gave a Sith impression she found terribly irresistible. She couldn't take her eyes off of him.
Risque Liaisons, from the moment you walked the long, plush red carpet inside past the heavily-armed security droids, struck you as aggressively sexual. The urgently pulse-pounding music simmered low in your belly, sensual like a potent drink. A shadowy domain, with a massive thirty-five hundred foot dance floor that was complimented by dark Alderaanian marble poles, ornamental tri-paristeel columns, and drapery-silhouetted cages for intimate seclusions that left nothing to the imagination.
The dance floor was beyond packed, illuminated by dynamic mood lighting, artificial haze, and the most erotic display of bodies moving they had ever seen before. Humanoids in various stages of undress lost themselves in the smoky darkness, slithering salaciously in couples, threesomes, and crowds of writhing flesh.
Dancing now with her backside pressed hotly against the solid length of her husband, Padme threw her hair back, slowly grinding her body like a snake against his throbbing erection. If he desired wild, she was ready to comply, loving the heady groans he fed into her ear while moving against her, his hands guiding her hips. She reached over her head and tangled her hand in his hair, drawing his mouth to the nape of her neck. When his tongue lashed at her throat her eyes shut as the pulsing, slow groove unleashed her inner vixen. They had each enjoyed three Bespin vodka shots before hitting the dance floor, and once there fell into the same grinding erotic vibe as everyone else.
Dancing as if they were making love... moving in the most decadently wicked ways... simulating the same rhythm as if he were inside her... writhing in the shadows, touching each other... watching other's touch each other...
With his arm wrapped possessively around Padme's waist, her body was the perfect cure for his desperate hunger. She smelled divine, rocking her derriere against him to the smoldering music. The hot atmosphere over the crowded dance floor affected everyone, glistening sweat after only a few short minutes on all who played there. The provocative music was so sexually arranged it was borderline profane.
From all around them Anakin sensed through the Force at least five couples among the hundreds dancing were having sex in secluded booths, overhead cages, and one couple against the far back wall. Their engaging arousal amplified his own, his body awash with heat as Padme slowly circled him, dancing with her body against his. He was so hard he swore under his breath. Mercy, he craved to take her here and now. Hard, on the floor, forcing her to orgasm again and again until her fingernails tore at his skin. To drive into her until she cried out his name loud enough for all to hear. By the Force, she was his sweetest obsession. "You're killing me, Angel," he panted softly.
Moving her slender figure to the sensuous rhythm, Padme brushed her hand over his erection. It throbbed powerfully at her touch. "That's the point."
Acting on impulse alone, Anakin drug her around him, bent down and drank deeply from her lush, curving lips. He ravenously ate her mouth while his hands filled with the gentle swells of her backside, kneading them as his thirst for her grew white hot. She arched against him, her nipples hardening over his chest. "You're mine," he moaned between wet kisses, loving her little mewing, "Yes,'" replies.
"Let's go somewhere private," Padme offered breathlessly, and then led him through the heavy crowds across the dance floor to a shuttle-elevator in the center of the club. Tipsy and aroused, she managed to pay for one of the luxury V.I.P rooms overlooking the main dance floor. Once off the elevator they were escorted to the private room and then left to their own devices.
Mindlessly aroused, Anakin slammed the door behind them, locking it with the Force. His eyes were dark with lust, focused solely on his angel. Padme smiled wickedly, slowly backing away him. He stalked toward her, erasing the distance between them, pressing her back to the curving padded railing as the dance floor writhed below. His voice carried a note of desperation to it, "Milady, you've reduced me to a savage."
"Animalistic tendencies aren't the way of a Jedi," she playfully reminded him, her finger tracing over his chest. A heart that beat for her alone throbbed beneath her finger tip. With his body braced against her the hard length of him signaled his intentions. "Wherever is your control"
"Where you are concerned, milady," he breathed hot over her lips, and then hoisted her onto the soft railing, now standing between her spread thighs. "I have none"
He twisted a lock of her dark, luxuriously curly hair, and then stroked his finger along her inner thigh.
Her brown eyes sparkled as her tongue wet her lips. "Behave"
"I couldn't if I tried." Seductively, Padme slithered down his body and away, ghosting past him so that her expensive perfume drug his soul along. The V.I.P room's burgundy decor complimented its plush, black carpet. Dimly lit for intimacy, sexually explicit art work adorned the walls, with a mirror-ceiling overhead. The room featured a personal bar with what looked like every legal and illegal alcoholic liquid that existed. Choosing Correlian ale, she poured them new drinks. A lavish sectional, burgundy couch was the centerpiece of the private suite, easily big enough for five.
But divine for two.
In Anakin's mind she was beneath him already, her legs locked tight around his waist, urging him to take her faster. The mere thought made him harder as he leaned his back against the railing. His torture was furthered by the fact that he knew Padme was picking up his thoughts. "You're too far away, milady"
Padme gave a regal tilt of her head, pouring the second of two glasses. Her back to the broad bar, she held out a glass for him. "As a former queen I refuse to be summoned"
Defiance was written all over the Jedi's smirking face. His palm opened, and the drink she held out to him obeyed his Force-command, flying into his grasp without so much as spilling a drop. He downed the amber colored liquor, enjoying the heady rush. "You have some nerve"
"Because I am a mere woman?" she challenged while moving around the sectional couch and then descending upon it, her bare legs crossed, his eyes lustfully drawn to them. "Am I to respond favorably to your every command?" Suddenly the entire couch lifted just off the floor and began moving over the carpet until it sat in front of Anakin. Alas, her Master Jedi had no patience at all. "You don't play fair"
"And you look entirely too incredible in that dress tonight," he countered with a cocky grin. "Judging by some of the stray thoughts I picked off men who passed you by if I had my light saber with me I would have committed murder by now."
"You should have heard some of the things the women staring at you were thinking." While watching him "Force" the ale bottle into his possession, she smiled. "I'd blush if I weren't thinking the same things"
After downing a strong pull from the bottle, Anakin eased down beside her, and then groaned when she slid over his lap, nestling her backside over his hard erection as if she were seeking a more comfortable position. With her bare legs splayed over his thighs, she began pressing soft kisses over his neck. His eyes fell shut when her hand pushed up under his shirt, trailing her nails across his muscled chest. "I'll die if I'm not inside you soon"
"I won't let death have you. You belong to me alone," she bit gently over his neck, and then her lips brushed over his swallowing throat. "Would you like it if I straddled you right now and rode you for the rest of the night?" Her palm danced over his beating heart as it throbbed in time with the cock beneath her. "Or would you like to drag me on the floor and take me so hard the people in the adjoining rooms hear my screams of ecstasy?" Finally confident and bold with her sexuality, she enjoyed the rush of power she felt. Her lips went his ear, breathing warmth over the lobe. The husky tenor of her voice invaded his mind. "Or do you want me to suck it until you can't see straight?"
With his face nestled in the gorgeous locks of her hair, Anakin's heart pounded against his chest. Behind closed doors in the privacy of their relationship Padme could turn up the heat to unfathomable temperatures. He loved being the only person in the galaxy that knew this side of her. "Is 'all of the above' an option?" he smiled devilishly.
"The deal is for one and one only," she noted above the sensually hypnotic music playing throughout the club.
"How can a man choose between paradise and heaven?" Tracing his hand up her soft legs, teasing her inner thigh, Anakin sighed. Padme continued running her mouth all over his neck, her tongue lazily sampling his skin. "Option three, milady"
"Is that right?" Padme questioned as her lips curled. Anakin gave a slow nod. After a moment's pause, she lifted off his lap and then walked to the padded railing and was now gazing out over the loud, grinding crowd below. When her beloved cleared his throat behind her, she glanced over her shoulder and replied oh so innocently, "Did you think I meant now"
"Waiting wasn't part of the deal"
"I've altered the deal," she declared before returning her attention to the decadence of the packed dance floor below. Around her the lights dimmed into darkness, no doubt a warning sign from her husband. "Pray I don't alter it any further"
Anakin was on her that very second.
His warm right hand swept her thick hair aside so that his mouth could make love the back of her neck, while his left hand ascended her bare thigh, slipping inside her lacy... she moaned in a trembling voice, and then her hand fisted against the railing when he cupped her moist heat and began stroking her... dipping a single finger inside her... thrusting it so deeply her entire body quivered around it. Her liquid arousal coated his hand, while his mouth drew at the fair skin of her neck until she was marked.
On and on until a second finger joined the first, he pierced her slick core with a growing urgency. Her sweet cries grew sharper as she felt a powerful climax cresting on the horizon. Blind to the acute pleasure, Padme knew anyone who peered upward from the dance floor could see her, and that knowledge only amplified her lust. This was so unlike her, so wild and crazy and by the Force it felt so good to leave the lonely, sheltered, reserved woman she once was behind her.
Padme Nabberie feared failing her people.
Padme Amidala feared failing the Republic.
Padme Skywalker feared nothing at all.
Anakin stroked her until her hips rolled against the fingers now surging inside her... and then they were gone. "Spread your legs for me"
Her mind couldn't register the command, but her body obeyed, moving accordingly. Padme heard his descent onto his knees behind her, and then moving beneath her dress. She felt his teeth on her bare thighs, not ever knowing where the next bite would occur, and then purring when it did. Her underwear was torn off her without a care for its expensive value. Even the sound of the fabric tearing turned her on. Suddenly, his mouth was right there, open and hungry over her rosy-red womanhood.
At once the railing was the only thing keeping her on her feet. Padme hissed between her teeth as a long, agile tongue swept smoothly between her thighs over and over until she couldn't stand still, and then it thrust inside her. Her legs buckled when his hungry mouth closed over her mound, suckling loudly. His hands filled with her backside while he feasted on her flesh. The scandalous music and the night clubs wicked atmosphere left her wanton, being eaten alive by her beloved.
One hand gripped the railing while the other held the back of his head, urgently grinding against his tongue, her reserve having vanished. She was dancing again... dancing over his ravenous mouth... her belly straining, drawing tight as her nipples against her dress. She could hear herself whimpering... hear the pounding music and the sounds of Anakin devouring her whole. She could feel the hot, coiling tension in her belly edging toward oblivion.
Anakin was held spellbound by the heady scent of her. The way her thighs clutched at his head, while her fingers tangled in his hair shook whenever his tongue lashed over her. His gaze fastened on her clit, and then his mouth. Her body stiffened from the combined liquid stroke of his tongue and inhaling suction until she came violently in waves of orgasmic shivers. She cried out, riding his face through a series of spasms. The thrill of her voice when she came gave his life meaning.
All that he needed... all that he had ever needed... was her.
Recovering was like an out of body experience for Padme. Although she had never tried a controlled substance before, she couldn't help but to feel a sort of high. She was sweating, her vision cloudy, her body humming delightfully. Her mind was awash with pleasure. She could hear the music and vaguely make out the shadows moving against each other below... could feel her husband's hands lifting her dress... hear the gentle rustle of clothing, and then feel the tip of him press to her entrance before invading her with a thought-melting thrust that stole the very breath from her lungs.
She made sounds.
Being taken this way, from behind, she felt utterly feminine. Her body relaxed and then tightened around him, clinging the way she knew he loved. Her hands gripped the railing while his anchored her hips, driving into her with body-jarring thrusts. The primal music's steady drumbeat matched her husband's lust. Sheer pleasure soaked around him as her hips rocked back, matching his aggression, the loud sound of flesh slapping together surrounded them.
Oh how he loved this woman. His angel, so sweet. Her sex clung deliciously around him, while her little squeaks and mews of pleasure drove him mad with desire. Again and again his eyes drank in the sight of how the sweetly rounded cheeks of her backside rippled with his every surge. She felt divine wrapped around him. He could take her forever and never slake his lust for her.
When Padme came the second time there was silence, and yet the exquisite pleasure was etched all over her straining face. Bent forward over the railing, her fingernails digging into the padded railing, a mask of pleasure clouded her lovely features as the depth of his passion sent her flying. Her heart couldn't catch up with her lungs. There just wasn't enough air. Her body was hot and smothered by Anakin, and before she knew it she was turned around and then hoisted back onto the padded railing, her body sustained by him bracing her on his hips, lifting her body with powerful, deep thrusts. She held on, urgently taking her pleasure while giving him his.
Her face, neck, and chest were flushed red, glistening with a fine sheen of sweat. Anakin felt his own shirt cling to his chest, and yet so great was his hunger that he couldn't even undress fully before taking her. There was a time for slow, soft love making beneath the warm covers, and then there was this. A man claiming his woman. A warrior enjoying the spoils of his victory. He kneaded her backside while pounding into her, shaking her body against the railing. She came again, howling above the music, her head thrown back, eyes shut tight.
Couples across the way in other V.I.P rooms were making love... and watching them. Two women to their left were staring intently... A threesome across the dance floor in another V.I.P room facing theirs...
It was too much... far too much and all at once his world exploded. Padme felt him throb powerfully before arching into her as deeply as he could go, coming in long, wet bursts inside her while chanting her name. She willed her body to drain him dry, using her inner muscles to amplify his pleasure, claiming him as surely as he did her.
And then there was peace.
Gently, Anakin withdrew and then carried Padme to the sectional couch. He carefully sat her down and then lay beside her, both still half-dressed, the room filled with the scent of their lust.
Padme finally caught her breath, her eyes staring at their mirror reflection on the ceiling. By the Force what had gotten into her? Then again... she smiled at the irony. Yes, this was the best vacation of her entire life. Yes, this was the most dangerous sexual experience of her entire life. Yes, this was the wildest thing she had ever done. But all of those things paled in comparison to her one single thought. "Ani, I am so hungry I could eat a Wookie"
The Jedi Master suddenly burst out laughing.
Truly, he loved her more than his own life.
Vice Chair Skywalker's Private Spacecraft Fast approaching the private starship landing dock at penthouse apartment owned by Republic Vice Chair Padme Amidala-Skywalker
Senate Apartment Complex connected to 500 Republica
Located in the Senate District
Galactic City, Coruscant
"Home sweet home," Anakin noted from the pilot's chair of 'The Perseverance' as the towering Senate Apartment Complex loomed in the distance of Galactic City. Padme yawned beside him, having slept the entire trip home. "So do we tell the twins one day we were arrested?"
"No and never," she replied, smiling. "Some stories must never see the light of day, including our arrest last night. Thankfully you were able to get us out of that holding cell."
"We would have never been in there if you hadn't ordered another bottle of wine after we..." his wink was replied with a roll of her eyes. "We would have been long gone before that place was raided by Bespin authorities for the illegal sale of death sticks, among many other controlled substances."
"You have the nerve to blame me?"
"I have the nerve and the truth on my side."
"I gave birth to your two children and was thrown off a bridge by you."
Her amusingly pointed stare offered only one conclusion. "I'm not going to win any arguments with you, am I?"
"We'll see... in about a decade of so." As they cleared the security clearance codes needed to fly in the airspace surrounding 500 Republica, she sighed. Their vacation was truly over. "The Senate Trials begin in two weeks. We have so much work to do to prepare for them. And when the testimonies start its going to get ugly."
"The work of the Republic often is?"
"True..." she conceded. For now there was only the reunion of family and friends on her mind. As Anakin perfectly landed her starship on the private dock beside the apartments veranda, loved ones awaited them. Jobal, Ruwee, Sola holding the twins, Darred, Sabe, Ryoo, Pooja, and even C-3PO welcomed them with open arms upon exiting the starship with warm hugs.
Padme scooped Luke and Leia in her arms from her sister and peppered their faces with kisses. "Have you two been good?"
"No, Sabe answered for them. "Especially the girl."
"Oh hush," Padme laughed, brushing a kiss over Leia's forehead.
Loving the sight of her youngest daughter with her children, Jobal pressed a kiss to Padme 's temple. "So tell us all about your trip?"
"Dear mother," Padme declared mischievously as they entered the apartment. "What happens in Cloud City... stays in Cloud City."
The End... for now!
More one-shots in this universe are on the way.